Lancaster Catholic and Pequea Valley came into Thursday evening’s Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Four girls soccer match tied for first place.
At the end of 100 competitive minutes, they remained tied for first, after playing to a scoreless tie.
A tie fashioned by a stalwart defensive effort from the PV back four of junior Abigail Stoltzfus, sophomores Deena Stoltzfus and Liana Rogers and freshman Brooke Graham.
In a very physical match — filled with numerous hip and shoulder checks on both sides — they bent often, but never broke, protecting sophomore keeper Madison Weaver from an onslaught from Catholic’s high-octane offense.
The Crusaders (5-0-1 league, 9-0-1 overall) entered the contest averaging nearly six goals a game.
While they had their chances — 16 shots on goal and four corner kicks — the closest Catholic came to solving the scoring mystery may have come with three and a half minutes into the second OT when, off a great buildup from Hannah Schmidt and Gabrielle Kambouroglos, Amanda Mueller’s shot hit the far post, ricocheting away from the goal.
“They were gassed at the end,” PV coach Steve Morris said of his backs. “They did well.”
The foursome, with big time help from midfielders Megan Yoder, Sierra Fisher and Kayln Keen, filled the passing lanes and kept Catholic shooting largely from outside the 10s.
“They denied everything,” Crusader coach John Jones said. “They did a really good job of clogging that up.”
Catholic held a 10-3 edge in shots on goal after regulation and padded that stat, peppering Pequea with six shots in the second OT.
The Braves (5-0-1, 5-2-1) stood tall.
“It was a fantastic effort, on both sides of the ball,” Morris said. “It’s just such tremendous growth for such a young squad.”
Meanwhile, Jones saw the glass completely full. “It’s what we needed,” he said. “They’re a good side.”